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Mar. 25, 2013

Little Rock Loft Property Refinances for $9M

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Little Rock, Ark.—The owners of Block 2 Lofts, a 145-unit property in downtown Little Rock, Ark., have closed on a $9 million Fannie Mae conventional loan to refinance it. The fixed-rate loan has a 15-year term with 14.5 years of yield maintenance and 30 years of amortization. Joel Mazur, vice president of originations in Beech Street’s Chicago office, originated the transaction.

The Block 2 apartments consist of three buildings between three and nine stories located in the River Market District, which is a restaurant, retail and entertainment center. The loft-style units feature 12- to 16-foot ceilings and have cement floors, warehouse windows and exposed ductwork, as well as exposed brick walls in select units. Besides loft units, Block 2 Lofts also includes 32,850 square feet of commercial space.

Built between 1921 and 1929, the property was converted to loft-style apartments in 2001. The three historic buildings include the Wallace Building (built in 1924), the Beal-Burrow Dry Goods Building (1920) and the Democrat Printing and Lithograph Building (1924). Together, the buildings add up to 250,000 square feet, not counting the commercial space.

Vanadis 3 did the 2001 conversion to lofts. The current owners purchased the property in 2011, aware that it had significant value-added potential. At the time of purchase, just 51 percent of the commercial space was occupied, and the leases that were in place were set to expire within 14 months.

The owners improved the vacant space and began marketing it. Currently, the commercial space is 73 percent occupied and all tenants have long-term leases.